As it turns out, I’m still alive. Just after my guest post over at Caffeineforge, I got quite the surge of traffic over here. Then I promptly disappeared. Nobody ever accused me of being a savvy businessman. But as I will repeat ad nauseam, this blog is written solely for my own amusement, and I could never have forced myself to capitalize on such an opportunity anyway. I think what makes this blog interesting (to the people who find it to be) is that I’m not trying to appeal to anyone. It’s just a glimpse into part of my (massive, genius) brain.
Which brings us to Henrick Jeanty, who does not have such a brain. His project, Letter Chess, is an obvious indication of that. And so many of my Kickstarter (not to mention common sense) rules are broken here that it’s almost satirical.
First of all, don’t call your.. anything “the next viral” anything. Claiming that something will be viral is the best way to ensure that it will not be. Do you not see how fucking stupid that concept is? You’re talking about how everyone will be spreading this around to the people who are supposed to be spreading it around. Salesmanship 101, Henrick: don’t give your customers orders, or assume what they will want or do. This is like going to a job interview and introducing yourself as their next employee. It’s arrogant and stupid. I hope that means something coming from someone incredibly arrogant (and yet, quite intelligent.. okay, I’ll stop with the self-flattering).
Secondly, if your daughter is a robot, do not put her in your campaign video. Skip to 36 seconds into the video to see what I’m talking about. Maybe robot isn’t quite accurate. Look, I understand that kids can get nervous when their parents pressure them into doing something, but there’s something extra to this particular case. I’m surprised Henrick unchained his daughter from the basement long enough to make this cameo. I wonder if someone held up a cue card for her, or if he just branded the words into her skin. Okay, I’m starting to feel like this post should have a trigger warning, so let’s move on.
But you know what I’m really after here, right? I want to know where this $50,000 would be going. Well, if you get through (or, in my case, skip) the million fucking paragraphs explaining, in obscene detail, how to play this game, you’ll find that Henrick wants to hire his students (wut?) to port the game – that he already has working – to mobile platforms. He curiously justifies this by offering a quote he got from some firm about developing the game for Windows 8 mobile devices:
“Windows 8 phone: $20-25K. — Windows 8 tablets: Another $5k — Windows 8 PCs: another $5k — Create a back-end for multi-player games with notifications: additional $10k. Add this functionality into the Windows 8 app: $5k”
Henrick is more than happy to go along with this quote, and pretend that it’s going to cost $50,000 just to get the game onto a few devices. Even assuming that the Windows 8 phone is a reasonable price, it’s another $5,000 to get the thing working at a higher fucking resolution for tablets? And another $5,000 to get it working on Windows 8? It’s already working on Windows 7, how much updating do you need?
And let’s not forget the fact that you’re hiring students – not professionals – to do this work. I guess it’s a nice thought, hiring students who could use work experience, but let’s not make Mr. Jeanty out to be some academic Robin Hood just yet – he’s also doing it for cheap labor to build his own game. Why can’t he do the work himself? Maybe the reason he sat on this idea for 25 years is that he just wasn’t in a position to outsource the real work to a bunch of kids who don’t know any better. This idea is older than the people Henrick is going to have building it.
He then claims that he’ll need equipment for this. Specifically, “Macs, laptops, tablets, phones and development tools”. We’re not going to have a repeat of 3D Attack Games, are we? How do you not own any of the necessary devices to make the game you’ve been sitting on for 25 years, waiting for devices like these to build it for? Not to mention, the $50,000 is allegedly only going to cover Windows mobile devices (iOS and Android would only happen upon reaching $80,000) – you don’t need Macs for that. Then, in the video, he makes the absurd admission:
“Also, I plan on using some of the funds to help prepare for the next project…”
That does it. This is a joke. No one is this stupid. Here’s a new rule for you future Kickstarter project owners: don’t fucking Kickstart multiple projects using one game concept. Especially when you don’t even say what the other projects are. You don’t even know if anyone gives a shit about this project (spoiler: they don’t). I think you’re counting your chickens before you have any eggs here.
“So please, skip that five-dollar coffee cup at Starbucks…”
How about I skip your shitty word game instead? At least I know what I’m getting when I order something at Starbucks. I give them money, and they give me coffee. They don’t ask for money so that they can order a coffee maker and then get me the coffee.
“I am sure it will go viral in no time.”
Sure. Just like this Kickstarter project took off-
If you’re so certain that it will go viral, make a small flash version and release that for free. Gain some interest, and make your Kickstarter for the other platforms. Prove that you can actually do something, then see if anyone gives a shit about it before embarrassing yourself by asking for $50,000 to buy computers (which you apparently don’t own, and didn’t use to make your prototype) and pay your students to make a real game out of your proof-of-concept crossword game. And one more thing:
“Risks: This project has no real risks.”
Fuck you. This is a bald-faced lie, and you’re a fucking adult, too old to believe that an undertaking like this has no risks. You’re hiring students to make a game – most (or all) of which have never made a game before. And I seriously doubt that you have. And yet because you get a quote from a software development firm that your game will cost $50,000 to make, you figure why not just take that money and hire your own students instead of professionals. I’m not sure if you’re trying to con people or you’re just plain stupid, but at least you’re not an idiot with $50,000.
And if I ever catch you on Indiegogo, Henrick, so fucking help me…